UGM Helps Homeless Vote
Vancouver, B.C. — Rick never dreamed of casting a ballot in next week’s Federal Election. With no address, no ID, and no home, the 48-year-old thought he had no hope of voting, until he heard Union Gospel Mission could help.
“Having lived in the shadows for so long, I regarded myself as an invisible, disposable member of society,” he says. “Voting makes me feel more powerful. I have a voice.”
Rick will cast his first-ever ballot this Monday at UGM, where staff are making efforts to ‘get out the vote’ in the homeless community. The organization is hosting voter information booths this week to ensure homeless Canadians know they are eligible, while staff are also helping guests navigate complex ID requirements. In cases where homeless guests don’t have the necessary identification, staff may help by signing ‘confirmation of residence’ letters, and by ‘vouching’ for the identities of guests whose ID is damaged, lost or stolen—common problems on the street. Finally, the organization will host polls on Election Day in the Downtown Eastside, allowing guests to vote nearby.
“Our homeless guests have the most at stake during this election but ironically face the most hurdles,” says UGM’s Rachael Allen, noting that national crises like housing, affordability, and fentanyl disproportionately impact the homeless. “They have every right to shape their future.”
MEDIA AVAILABILITY DETAILS
What: Media are welcome to attend as UGM hosts voter information booths in the Downtown Eastside. Rick will be present to talk about voting for the first time.
When: Friday, October 18th from 10:30 AM – 11:00 AM
Where: 601 East Hastings, Vancouver
Union Gospel Mission
Cell: (604) 996-1417
ABOUT UNION GOSPEL MISSION
Union Gospel Mission has been feeding hope and changing lives of men, women, youth, and children for more than 78 years. Through its seven locations in Metro Vancouver and the city of Mission, UGM provides emergency shelter, meals, outreach, career development counselling, education, safe and affordable housing, addiction recovery, and much more to those struggling with poverty, homelessness and addiction. The heart of the mission is to demonstrate God’s transforming love, ease the burden of the most vulnerable, rebuild lives and offer dignity to those who feel cast aside. To learn more, visit www.ugm.ca.